Creative Non-Fiction Short Stories. :) Travel, Oldsters, Love, and Compassion.
If you have a good sense of direction, please never forget that this is a gift. Like those who can sleep in airplanes, you have been granted something very beautiful. Be grateful for it.
In an attempt to familiarize myself with my new city, I walked for four hours and found none of the places I had planned to visit. I couldn’t find a church I’d hoped to attend, I couldn’t find two other sights I thought I had seen before. I gave up the search after three hours. Yet, it still took me another hour to get home.
Practicing my Turkish (a.k.a. throwing myself at the mercy of strangers), I did ask for directions. I learned that if you ask 10 people, 2 will admit they don’t know, 4 will give vague or counter-productive directions because they don’t want to admit they don’t know, and 4 will give helpful instructions that I would be unable to follow or would swiftly forget. Everyone answered with a smile, at least.
Finally 80 blocks from home, an older man said he knew the area, he knew a shortcut, and he’d gladly walk me there. He also needed to ask; he also discovered that we received a lot of seemingly credibly tips that led nowhere. At a café a man assured us that my place was right around the corner. Doubling back after the dead end, my guide said: “But that’s not the right one, brother!” And the man at the café shrugged behind his cigarette.
By the time we found my street, I think the man was tired of my assurances, “Thank you so much!,” “You’re so kind,” “I’ll pray for you and your family.” A gesture that seemed so slight turned into 30 minutes with a cheerful blonde on his heels. He smiled when we parted, but as he turned to go, he let out a huge sigh. I couldn’t have agreed more.